I generally find myself marveling at what goes on in Phoebe's brain. As a little person, she just doesn't think about things the same way I do; I find her altogether fascinating. Or frustrating, as the case may be.
Lest you think we have this sleeping thing all figured out (we don't, by the way), we've also been having some sleepytime wars with Phoebe. It's as if she simply cannot shut down her brain to settle down to rest. This happens mostly at bedtime, but occasionally this happens at naptime too. She has consistently obeyed us by staying in the bed; however, she has managed to find ways to be disobedient and destructive while still in the bed.
Anything she can reach from the bed is fair game. One morning, we woke up to find that Phoebe had completely emptied a container of wipes (my last in the house) and scattered them all over the floor. (The wipes were on the chest at the foot of the bed.) She's taken pictures off of walls, pulled apart flower petals, and somehow brought toys into the bed. One day a few weeks ago, Michael was home at naptime. After hearing a noise that definitely did not sound like a snoring two-year-old, he went in to discover that she had begun to de-feather her angel wreath. She was busted with feathers in hand and a pile of feathers on the floor.
Last week, Phoebe was settling down for her first naptime at Mops and Pops' house. I was getting ready to have a child-free trip to Target when I heard her playing. I went in to discover that Phoebe had taken two large collage frames off the wall and brought them into the bed with her. But her piece de resistance was the broken lampshade. Somehow, she had managed to remove a lampshade from a nearby lamp and completely shatter it. Shards of plastic from the inside of the shade were everywhere: on the floor, around the table, in the bed. It looked like a boxer had taken a few rounds out on it. We have no idea how my twenty-four pound toddler dismantled it.
Each episode of destructiveness leads to discipline. And y'all, it is so easy to get discouraged by this. (A good friend tells me that she and her husband had to discipline her oldest son at bedtime for an entire year; I'm praying we don't have to deal with this for that long!) I have to believe she doesn't really want to be disobedient and destructive -- it's like she just can't help herself.
Hello, sin nature. Nice to meet you.
I'm reminded that all the discipline in the world can't keep us from our sin nature. We are trusting God and his promises to do a work in our girls' lives, but like Paul (and their parents), they will always struggle with their flesh. We are destructive. We are defiant. And we are desperate.
For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
Thanks be to God indeed, for delivering us from our bodies of death!